The issues of state-society relations that have become especially acute in the conditions of the world financial and economic crisis cannot be neglected, because it can trigger the growth of protest moods. This calls for the necessity to provide public authorities with a constructive, science-based programme. In 2013 the Institute of Socio-Economic Development of Territories of RAS (ISEDT RAS) carried out a research aimed at analyzing whether the state policy corresponds to the main requirements of the modern Russian society.
In order to achieve this goal, the following tasks were set out: to review the state of the civil society in Russia and in the Vologda Oblast, in particular after the 2008 global financial crisis; to identify the socio-economic and socio-political problems, which arouse main concern among the population of the Russian Federation and the Vologda Oblast in the post-crisis period; to describe the measures undertaken by the government to address these issues.
The authors came to the following conclusions:
1. Civil society both at the federal and at the regional levels is at the stage of formation; nevertheless, it possesses significant potential. This has been proved by the protest actions (December 2011) that made it clear to the authorities that it was necessary to respond to the demands of the growing civil society.
2. The citizens of Russia and the region express their concern at similar issues. At the same time, the Vologda Oblast residents compared with the Russians in general express more concern about the condition of the housing sector, and less concern – about socio-political (corruption), ecological and ethical issues.
3. After V.V. Putin was elected President in March 2012, the social policy was focused on handling those issues that have long become vital in the society. However, the reforms are characterized by the discrepancy between the declared and the actual objectives, by the declarative nature in many aspects, by shifting the responsibility to the regional authorities.
Therefore, the authors suggest the implementation of the following measures: to revise the approach to many issues at which the people express their concern; to abandon imitation in the execution of reforms; to promote further development of civil society
protest potential, civil society, authority, public opinion monitoring, the level of trust